OPINION

The Apple iPhone 3G: How Steve Jobs Fooled Me

July 05, 2008
Sakshi Juneja

Undoubtedly the iPhone is one of the sweetest inventions in recent times. Well at least in my books. And I wouldn't be wrong in stating, countless others share the same view. Released on 29th June 2007 (in the US), in matter of weeks the world was gripped in its craze. I remember constantly eyeing eBay iPhone sellers, looking for that 'one' perfect deal. The temporary trauma that came along with my iPhone package still lingers - let's just say I still have nightmares about paperweight iPhones.

All that was then, the iPhone is now old news. What is in the news however is its rejuvenated version – the iPhone 3G.

iphone3g

The 3G model is yet to be released (a week from now to be precise) and I know tons of folks who can't wait to get their hands on this beauty. Yours truly included, I mean after all it does fall within my "all things sexy" category.

Besides all the new features such as the two colour options (Black/White), 16 GB option, 2 megapixels camera, 3G wireless technology, GPS mapping, App store and Microsoft Exchange, the most attractive bit of all is its marketed price; $199 for 8 GB model & $299 for 16 GB model. Now when converted into Indian rupees, the amount sounds easy on the ears and the pocket.

But if you go by this report you will realize things are not always what they seem, especially good things.

The iPhone 3G will cost Rs 20,000 in India - the costliest in the world. 

The iPhone 3G will be free in the UK as it's subsidised by O2, a service provider; it's 1 Euro (Rs 70) in Germany, again subsidised by T-mobile and costs US$ 199 (Rs 8,557) in the USA, thanks to AT&T. The phone costs US$ 350 (Rs 15,050) in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and the Philippines. It is not available in Dubai. [Link]

And if like me you too are thinking of purchasing this baby for a lesser price via the ever-enterprising eBay or requesting your chacha's wife's grandfather's cousin's grandson to send you US-made maal – well then, my darling, you are in for a disappointment.

US buyers will have to purchase a service contract with AT&T before leaving the store; you cannot buy it online. The phone has to be activated within 30 days or the buyer will be penalized. You cannot cancel the two-year contract with AT&T. Either a cancellation fee of 175$ (Rs 7,525) will be charged or the phone has to be returned.

And for my buddies in US of A who are jumping with joy (and mocking us poor souls back home) thinking about the dream figure; here's a news flash for ya.

(Only) if you're "upgrade eligible" (log into your AT&T account to see if you are), you'll be able to buy the new iPhone for the discounted price of $199 for the 8GB version or $299 (INR  8,584.86) for the 16GB  (INR 12,898.86) model. (AT&T is somewhat vague about the eligibility criteria, although your credit history and the time remaining on your contract are factors.) You'll also have to pay an $18 "upgrade fee."

If you're not eligible for the discount, you'll have to fork over extra for an "early upgrade"-$399 for the 8GB iPhone 3G or $499  for the 16GB model. Ouch.

AT&T also says that a "no-commitment" (read: no contract) iPhone 3G will be available soon, at $599 for the 8GB version and or $699 for the 16GB handset. Pricey, but hey- no two-year contract.

Unfortunately, AT&T won't offer the new iPhone on a prepaid basis, at least not at launch. [Link]

Ha Ha Ha.

On a serious note though, personally speaking, shelling Rs. 20,000 on an officially purchased iPhone isn't much. In 2006 I had bought an unofficial Sony Ericsson W900i for 25 grand and it didn't have half the features present in the 3G iPhone. Also when you compare it to high-Nokia models currently in the market, the price of an iPhone is comparatively quite low.

So it only seems wiser to buy an official piece, the only drawback – can you wait for another 3 months?

(*Picture Source : Apple Inc)

Saakshi O. Juneja is an active blogger, feminist and overboard dog lover. Currently working as a Business Development Manager for a sportswear manufacturing company in Mumbai, India. Did graduation in Marketing & Advertising from Sydney, Australia. As far as blogging is concerned...is a complete Blog-a-holic.
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#1
Kiran
URL
July 5, 2008
08:18 AM

Sakshi,

When you say

'The iPhone 3G will be free in the UK as it's subsidised by O2, a service provider; it's 1 Euro (Rs 70) in Germany'

I hope you realise that the logic you extended to US AT&T contracts also extend to UK and Germany where you have to lock into a contract with the provider.

If it's 20k in India, and without a contract, I would be mighty surprised and immediately buy it. Methinks, it's gonna be much more...probably 25k easily.

#2
commonsense
July 5, 2008
09:30 AM

wow! as an old fart who has completely missed the cellphone revolution (apart from that antique heavy as a brick device for emergencies such as blizzards), I am amazed that anyone would pay this much, just for its sex appeal and the pleasure of twiddling thumbs and pushing some buttons. I have always wondered about all those folks yakking away on the phone: How DO they find someone to talk to for THAT long? All very mysterious forms of human behaviour. But then again, I love this quote from ole man Marx: "nothing human is alien to me"

#3
Thetoothfairy
July 5, 2008
11:23 AM

Good old Apple and ATT.....

First of all I love my iphone.... I do not know if I should shell out the money for the new model or not at this time... I have this week to think about it... as I can upgrade...

For the old fart that stated it was just a cell phone... maybe you should try one.... the iphone is just as powerful as the computer you set in front of... but portable at that.....

As for the iPhone3G.... ATT knows everyone that have bought one loves it.... and that is how they are going to control this...

The good thing is they are going to sell the 3G for more money without a contract and I am a true believer that the hackers of the world will figure it out once again to go with another carrier.... there is nothing in this world that can't be hacked.... believe me nothing.... as far as the prices for the non-contract iphones people will pay it just to have one over Apple and ATT... the hackers of the world love that part of it.... that is why they hack.. they love the challenge and they don't care what it costs! Sure they might find that they have bricks but look at how many iPhones today that have not been bricked.... more than Apple and ATT wanted.....

I don't mind being in a contract with anyone but don't feel I have to reinstate my contract as I have only been on this one for seven months... I think I should be able to ride this one out and I don't feel I should have to pay more for the 3G service when it isn't in my area.... if you look at ATT's site 3G is offered in ONLY big cities within each state... what good is 3G going to do me? I don't live in one of the big cities!

And now we have to pay for text messages? Sounds like ATT is following Verizon's foot steps now.... charge you for everything just because of the deal they have with Apple and now they don't want to loose their ass.... if I have to do a new contract that is ok.... but pay for text messages and the so called 3G experience when I can't get it in my area?

As far as the 3G goes.... they need to add more features to it... stay tuned for the next round....

Since I love the iPhone experience and with ATT's dumb policies if they want more for the 3G and want more for text messages that is ok with me... ya know with times like this people have to go without one thing to have another!

The hubby has been complaining since I bought my iphone as he is tired of paying for the landline... I pay my cell phone bill right now.... But if we shut off the landline phone he won't have that bill anymore.... So I have decided to turn off all of my landline phones with ATT. So let me see..... my landline is around $100.00 a month with all the bell and whistles on it.... I buy the new 3G phone I pay them $15.00 extra and go by their rules.... well they loose out on $85.00 a month since I will be turning off my landline now...

The coolest part about this all is the hubby is tired of paying for the landline phone and I am being sweet by shutting it off so he thinks he can save money but in reality he will be paying my cell phone bill from now on... LOL

Thanks ATT!!!!!!!





#4
hardmanb
July 5, 2008
01:00 PM

Now...again, How did "Steve Jobs" fool you?

All the "fooled" issues you mention are caused not by Apple or Steve Jobs...but by the carrier.

AT&T is handling their prices and policies for the iPhone just like their policies for all their other 3G smartphones. And AT&T policies are very similar to all the other carriers and their prices/policies on smartphones.

Steve Jobs negotiated the world's lowest price from the carrier for unlimited use for the first iPhone...and everyone complained and criticized it as too slow. So...now Apple is just like all the other smartphones subsidized by all the other carriers.

Happy now? (But Jobs had nothing to do with your issues), he's just providing smartphones just like Nokia, Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Palm...only better and more usable.

#5
Aaman
URL
July 5, 2008
01:05 PM

Do you really think Steve Jobs had nothing to do with these decisions by the carrier? Steve is famously hands-on on every aspect of his products, and this means life or death for his baby.

#6
bob
July 5, 2008
01:31 PM

Consider all yourselves lucky. Here in Canada, Rogers Communications Inc. (the sole carrier of the iPhone) has come under fire for the outrageous rates it plans to charge customers for the 'privilege' of using the iPhone. Cell phone rates in the Canada are among the highest, if not the highest, in the world. When I asked Rogers why this is they replied that Canada is a large sparsely populated country. However, 3 companies (Rogers Wireless, Bell Mobility, and Telus Mobility) control the cell phone industry in Canada. Did I hear someone say monopoly?

I wish I had the same agonizing problems of what carrier to choose, which plan to go with as you all do.

#7
bob
July 5, 2008
01:32 PM

sorry the link to the article did not work. here it is
http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/06/30/tech-iphone.html

#8
Temple Stark
URL
July 5, 2008
02:29 PM

Small screens just for mobility disturb me. A world of hunchbacks If someone bought one for me, sure but I don't fucking care about the iPhone - and I love Mac computers / OSX.

#9
Thetoothfairy
July 5, 2008
07:26 PM

Bob is right! I really feel sorry for you guys up there! That's a joke what they are going to do with the rates and such.

#10
Sri
July 7, 2008
05:48 AM

Its just dumb article, author should know the facts b4 writing.

#11
Tanay
URL
July 7, 2008
05:55 AM

#10, sri, fine lets assume that the author is dumb, can you please educate her and others @ DC about the facts and other nitty gritties that you are talking out.

are you ready to make a corrective fact filled post on apple iphones ?

#12
a^2-b^2=(a+b)(a-b)
July 7, 2008
07:09 PM

Steve Jobs is a born businessman. Right from Ipod to Iphone, he doesnot want to loose control over his products.
For eg: IPods are useless without ITunes.

In case of IPhone Steve Jobs have used the wireless carriers to control the market. None of the IPhone 3G will be unlocked. You will not have the provision to change the carrier. You will only have a limited provision to install 3rd party softwares.

If IPhone is associated with AT&T then u need to be AT&T's subscriber for a given period until the actual cost of the phone has been equated. Moreover, Apple might come up with some more firmware upgrades for some $$$ which might contain some extra features.

Most of the affluent middle eastern countries will be deprived of IPhone just because their telecom policies demand Apple not to associate IPhone with any wireless carrier.

But again there are open source softwares like jail break which can unlock the IPhone. After which the subscriber can change carriers and install 3rd party softwares independently. Considered to be illegal but is the best solution.

I am not sure how is IPhone being launched in India, but very soon there will be a way around to by pass all the marketing regulations and then I will buy my IPhone.

#13
Sakshi
URL
July 8, 2008
03:10 AM

Wow. Fantastic response I must say. And now getting to the point, this is what I think :

If the price of the 3G iPhone is around 20-22 grand minus any sort of yearly contract with Airtel or Vodafone, I will go for it in a jiffy. But a contract is what I will be forced into a contract(even if the iPhone price is lesser than predicted), then the answer is a big NO.

In that case I will go with HTC Touch Diamond. A sexy piece I might add.

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